Valentine's History

Valentine's Day: the day in which we shower our loved one with flowers, candy, cards, and other tokens of our affection. The day we shout to the world, "This one is mine!" But do you know why? Read on for a little history lesson and fun facts about Valentine's Day.

We have all heard of Saint Valentine, a Roman saint who was martyred sometime in the Third century. But did you know there wasn't just one Saint Valentine? It is believed there were two different men, though no one really knows with certainty. History indicates that both saints were executed by the emperor Claudius for refusing to renounce the Christian faith, but why he was arrested remains largely a mystery. Some accounts say he was arrested for attempting to convert people; some say for marrying Christian couples. The executions are similar, but this is why historians believe there may have been two different men. Generally, Valentine's Day is attributed to Saint Valentine of Rome and Saint Valentine of Terni.

Some believe Geoffrey Chaucer may have invented Valentine's Day with his poem "Parliament of Fowls." The poem is about all birds coming together on February 14 to choose a mate. In the story, he intertwines birds and people, inferring that both choose mates out of love.  This was the first time Valentine's Day was identified with romantic love.  The poem is translated here.

Did you know?

Did you know there are a dozen Saint Valentines? According to the Roman Catholic roster of saints, there are twelve saints named Valentine! (Valentinus, the original Valentine, was a popular name at the time.)

Saint Valentine is the patron saint of epilepsy, fainting and beekeeping, among others.

Over one billion cards are sold each year for Valentine's Day.

Over one billion dollars worth of chocolate are purchased each year for Valentine's Day.

More than 35 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate are sold each year for Valentine's Day.

In the U.S., 189 million stems of roses are sold each year for Valentine's Day. Worldwide, 50 million roses are given.

In Victorian times, it was thought to be bad luck to sign a Valentine's card.

Teachers receive the most Valentine's cards.

An estimated 220,000 people will propose on Valentine's Day.

In the Middle Ages, young people drew names from a bowl to determine who would be their valentine.  They then wore that person's name on their sleeve for a week.

Doctors in the 1800s regularly prescribed chocolate to ease the pain of pining for lost love.

Red roses were the favored flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

The first box of chocolates was produced by Richard Cadbury in the late 1800s. He made a heart shaped box of chocolates for his love, and the lid was decorated with his own painting.

The Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer of cocoa.

Approximately 15% of women in the U.S. send themselves flowers for Valentine's Day.

Over 70% of Valentine's flowers are purchased by men. Over 80% of Valentine's Day card are purchased by women.

Men spend an average of $130 on flowers, chocolates, jewelry, etc.

Hallmark produced the first printed Valentine in 1913.

Pet owners in the U.S. are projected to spend $703 million on gifts for their pets this Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day, and everything associated with it, including the color red, is banned in Saudi Arabia. If you wear red on this day, you will be denied entry to stores, work, schools, or anywhere else you must go.

I hope you enjoyed these interesting facts, and remember, there is still time to place an order for Valentine's Day!


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